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SB-224 Personal rights: sexual harassment.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 08/21/2017 02:00 PM
SB224:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  August 21, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  April 05, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 224


Introduced by Senator Jackson

February 02, 2017


An act to add Section 21083.02 to the Public Resources Code, relating to environmental quality. amend Section 51.9 of the Civil Code, relating to personal rights.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 224, as amended, Jackson. California Environmental Quality Act: baseline conditions. Personal rights: sexual harassment.
Existing law establishes liability for sexual harassment when the plaintiff proves specified elements, including, among other things, that there is a business, service, or professional relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. Existing law states that a relationship may exist between a plaintiff and certain persons, including an attorney, holder of a master’s degree in social work, real estate agent, and real estate appraiser.
This bill would include an investor among those listed persons who may be liable to a plaintiff for sexual harassment.

The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment. CEQA requires the Office of Planning and Research to prepare and develop guidelines for the implementation of CEQA by public agencies. CEQA requires the office to transmit the proposed guidelines to the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency and requires the secretary to certify and adopt the proposed guidelines. CEQA requires the office, at least once every 2 years, to review the guidelines and to recommend proposed changes or amendments to the guidelines.

This bill would require the office, on or after January 1, 2018, at the time of the next review of the guidelines, to prepare, develop, and transmit to the secretary proposed changes or amendments to determine the baseline physical conditions by which a lead agency determines whether a project has a significant effect on the environment. The bill would require the office, in developing the recommendations to limit the consideration of modifications to the environment at the project site cause by certain actions. The bill would require the secretary to certify and adopt the recommended proposed changes or amendments.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YESNO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 51.9 of the Civil Code is amended to read:

51.9.
 (a) A person is liable in a cause of action for sexual harassment under this section when the plaintiff proves all of the following elements:
(1) There is a business, service, or professional relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. Such a relationship may exist between a plaintiff and a person, including, but not limited to, any of the following persons:
(A) Physician, psychotherapist, or dentist. For purposes of this section, “psychotherapist” has the same meaning as set forth in paragraph (1) of subdivision (c) of Section 728 of the Business and Professions Code.
(B) Attorney, holder of a master’s degree in social work, real estate agent, real estate appraiser, investor, accountant, banker, trust officer, financial planner loan officer, collection service, building contractor, or escrow loan officer.
(C) Executor, trustee, or administrator.
(D) Landlord or property manager.
(E) Teacher.
(F) A relationship that is substantially similar to any of the above.
(2) The defendant has made sexual advances, solicitations, sexual requests, demands for sexual compliance by the plaintiff, or engaged in other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature or of a hostile nature based on gender, that were unwelcome and pervasive or severe.
(3) There is an inability by the plaintiff to easily terminate the relationship.
(4) The plaintiff has suffered or will suffer economic loss or disadvantage or personal injury, including, but not limited to, emotional distress or the violation of a statutory or constitutional right, as a result of the conduct described in paragraph (2).
(b) In an action pursuant to this section, damages shall be awarded as provided by subdivision (b) of Section 52.
(c) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit application of any other remedies or rights provided under the law.
(d) The definition of sexual harassment and the standards for determining liability set forth in this section shall be limited to determining liability only with regard to a cause of action brought under this section.

SECTION 1.Section 21083.02 is added to the Public Resources Code, to read:
21083.02.

(a)On or after January, 1 2018, at the time of the next review of the guidelines prepared and developed to implement this division pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 21083, the Office of Planning and Research shall prepare, develop, and transmit to the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency recommended proposed changes or amendments to determine the baseline physical conditions by which a lead agency determines whether a project has a significant effect on the environment. In developing the recommendations, the Office of Planning and Research shall limit the consideration of modifications to the environment at the project site caused by either of the following:

(1)Actions undertaken without an environmental review pursuant to paragraph (2) or (4) of subdivision (b) of Section 21080.

(2)Actions that are unpermitted or illegal at the time the action was undertaken.

(b)Upon receipt and review, the Secretary of the Natural Resources Agency shall certify and adopt the recommended proposed changes or amendments prepared and developed by the Office of Planning and Research pursuant to subdivision (a).